Superman returns (again) in Man of Steel

The screenwriters of the “Dark Knight” trilogy take a crack at the original superhero.

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Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a combat drone! No, it’s Superman, returning to multiplexes in a complete reboot seven years after Bryan Singer’s tedious Superman Returns. Warner Bros. decided that one didn’t merit a sequel and instead started over with Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, who wrote the “Dark Knight” trilogy. This raised the prospect of an anguished Superman dealing with the new problems of the 21st century (hurricane season alone would keep him busy for an entire movie), yet aside from a few topical gestures (just outside his Fortress of Solitude in the arctic, a polar bear hops from one shrinking ice floe to another), Man of Steel is a battle between supermen, with humans mainly looking on. After escaping the destruction of Krypton, the hero (Henry Cavill) defends earth against the snarling General Zod (Michael Shannon), a fellow native hoping to colonize the planet. This is the best one he could find?

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